Simple Past Tense

What is Simple Past Tense?

The simple past tense is sometimes called the preterite tense. It is used to talk about actions that happened at a specific time in the past. We can use several tenses to talk about the past, but the simple past tense is the one we use most often.

There are two types of past tense verbs:

Regular verbs: add “ed” to the simple form -Achieved

Irregular verbs: don’t add “ed” – began

How do we make the simple past tense?

This page will explain the rules for forming the simple past tense sentences. Again we want to remember the general structure of English sentences before we start. In this way, you can easily understand .

First, let us see the of simple past tense.

General Structure

  • 1. Affirmative (Positive) Sentence
Subject Verb Rest of the sentence
I, We, You, They, He, She, It Past Rest of the sentence.
  • 2. Negative Sentence
Subject Auxiliary + Not Verb Rest of the sentence
I, We, You, They, He, She, It did not Present Rest of the sentence.
  • 3. Yes/No type Question
Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest of the sentence?
Did I, We, You, They, He, She, It Present Rest of the sentence?
  • 4.Information Question?
QW Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest of the sentence?
QW did I, We, You, They, He, She, It Present Rest of the sentence?

Important Note:

  • Verb – past
    Auxiliary verb – Did
    I, We, You, They, He, She, It – Did
  • QW – Question Word

1. Affirmative (Positive) Sentences

Subject Verb (Past Tense) Rest of the sentence
I worked on my website yesterday.
You learned English at home.
We saw a movie yesterday.
He ate breakfast earlier.
She arrived on time.
It took time.
They visited the beach.

Rules:

  • For positive sentences, we do not normally use the auxiliary.
  • Simple Past Form of the verb is used after the subject.

2. Negative Sentences

Subject Auxiliary + Not Verb (Present Tense) Rest of the sentence
I did not work on my website yesterday.
You did not learn English at home.
We did not see a movie yesterday.
He did not eat breakfast earlier.
She did not arrive on time.
It did not take time.
They did not visit the beach.

Rules:

Auxiliary verb (did not) “didn’t” and simple form of the verb is used.

I, We , You, They, He, She, It – Did

Please note that past form of the verb is only used affirmative (positive) sentences.

3. Yes/No type Question

Auxiliary Subject Verb (Present Tense) Rest of the sentence?
Did I work on my website yesterday?
Did you learn English at home?
Did we see a movie yesterday?
Did he speak breakfast earlier?
Did She arrive on time?
Did it take time?
Did they visit the beach?
Did Mugilan go in Chennai?

Rules:

  • The Auxiliary verb Did is used in the beginning of the sentences.
  • I, We , You, They, He, She, It – Did
  • The verb is used in its simple form. It ends with question mark (?).

4. Information Questions

Question Word Auxiliary Subject Verb(Present)
Rest of the sentence?
When did I work on my website?
Where did you learn English?
When did we see a movie?
When did he eat breakfast?
What did she write ?
How long did it take ?
Where did they play cricket?
Why did Kabilan go to Chennai?

Rules:

Question words are used in the beginning of the sentences.

I, We , You, They, He, She, It  - Did

The verb is used in its simple form. It ends with question mark (?).

When should we use the simple past tense?

Use 1 Completed Action in the Past

Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past.

I saw a movie yesterday.

Did you have dinner last night?

When did the train leave?

Tom lived in India

Use 2 Duration in Past

The Simple Past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past. Duration is a longer action often indicated by expressions such as: for two years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.

I lived in India for two years.

He studied English for five years.

We talked on the phone for thirty minutes.

4 comments on “Simple Past Tense
  1. srinivasan says:

    This site will be very useful for all new english learner and the general structure is very useful to create a sentence without anyone help.Please complete the site soon.

  2. Gopinath says:

    Sure, I will complete this website soon :)

  3. Chandrashekar says:

    This is one of the best site I have seen to learn English in a very simple and systematic manner.

    I will recommend this site to all my friends who wants to learn English.

    Great job!!!!!please complete the remaining at the earliest.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Chandrashekar

  4. manikandan says:

    nice I COULD know the sentence formation. it will very help to all English learner. I WILL inform to my friends

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>